Early in the morning, we disembarked at Urbina Bay, a visitor site near the center of Isabela, the seahorse-shaped island. After a wet landing, we walked further into the visitor site to search for the Galapagos land iguanas, which inhabit the arid zone of the island. Along the trail, we were surprised by the presence of several giant tortoises feeding on poison apple seeds and resting under some tropical shade.
Several land iguanas were seen; these land reptiles are endemic to seven major islands of the enchanted archipelago. Urbina Bay is one of the visitor sites rehabilitated by the Galapagos National Park, which controlled the numbers of introduced species so the land iguanas could restore their population. A few species of Darwin finches were also seen, as well as Galapagos flycatchers and mockingbirds, and a couple of Galapagos hawks flew above.
During our afternoon exploration, we navigated towards Tagus Cove, and started our exploration through a kayaking opportunity along the coast. Some of us also had the opportunity to go paddle boarding in this protected cove. Those on kayaks and paddleboards were lucky to see Galapagos penguins, brown pelicans, marine iguanas, and flightless cormorants.
Next we put on wetsuits and got in the water to explore the marine life of these wonderful islands. While snorkeling, we encountered Pacific green sea turtles, large schools of fish such as dusky chubs and yellow-tailed razor surgeonfish, and we spotted a couple of Galapagos horn sharks.
After snorkeling, some of us went on a Zodiac ride in search for our last opportunity for penguins. We found several sitting on the lava rocks and others coming back from their fishing outings. This is technically the northernmost penguin in the planet. Above the equator line in Galapagos, we still find Galapagos penguins. Other guests chose to hike around one of the crater lakes of Tagus Cove.
We finished our day with an incredible amount of close up experiences with the Galapagos wildlife and great memories to inspire us to explore the rest of the week around this magical archipelago.